© 2009 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.

08/11/09 1:58 PM ET

Hudson will make next rehab start

Righty on the comeback trail after Tommy John surgery

ATLANTA -- Tim Hudson tested the flexibility and strength of his legs on Monday evening and came away confident that he's ready to make his scheduled five-inning Minor League rehab start for Triple-A Gwinnett on Thursday.

"It felt pretty good," Hudson said. "I'm confident I can get my five innings in on Thursday with no problem."

While warming up for his July 31 rehab start, Hudson felt some tightness in his groin and opted not to pitch that evening. The discomfort subsided over the past few days, and he didn't experience any problems on Monday while throwing a bullpen session, fielding his position and covering first base.

Hudson, who is attempting to return from Tommy John ligament-replacement surgery on his pitching elbow, will likely make four more rehab starts before returning to the Atlanta roster. This timetable would put him in position to be activated after the 25-man rosters have been expanded.

"Arm-wise and throwing-wise, I think I'm pretty close," he said. "I just need to get used to pitching at game speed again."

With each of their five starters healthy and pitching effectively, the Braves may face a tough decision when Hudson is ready to return. But for now the plan is for him to continue preparing himself to serve as a starter.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.